INDIA: New Teacher Training Program Developed to Help Educate Teachers about Learning Disabilities
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian-run Don Bosco Egmore, a secondary school located in the city of Chennai, in association with India’s CARE Institute of Behavioral Sciences, recently launched the Don Bosco remedial education services program to provide ongoing teacher training for Salesian teachers. The training will equip teachers to identify, handle and address the special needs of students within a regular classroom setting encouraging an inclusive educational environment.
“Teachers should educate themselves more about learning disabilities and work in a way to mold each child as the best student,” said S. Kannappan, director of School Education in India, speaking at the launch of the program in late November.
The CARE Institute for Behavioral Sciences will provide the course content and trainers. Teachers will be educated on topics that include awareness, screening of children with learning disabilities and remedial education. Both a three-day module and a three-month module will be offered.
“This new program will educate teachers how to help a child with a learning disability to overcome the difficulties in reading, writing and other school subjects which will help them to improve their academic performance,” said Father John Alexander, rector at Don Bosco Egmore. “The school-based training program will also help decrease the hardship for the parents that right now must access remedial education for a learning disability outside the school. We are opening this program to teachers at other local schools as well to help the entire community.”
Teachers play an important role in the lives of poor youth in Salesian schools. Their work is vital to their students’ success both in and out of the classroom. Salesian missionaries educate more than 1 million youth in 3,200 primary and secondary schools and more than 800 vocational, technical and agricultural schools in more than 130 countries around the globe.
Many Salesian students have faced severe poverty and often lack basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Some were previously living and working on the streets and others have faced war as child soldiers or become refugees in war torn communities. Salesian teachers meet these challenges head on, providing education and hope for a brighter future.
“Teachers are the backbone of the Salesian educational system and we at Salesian Missions are dedicated to providing the support and training they need,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The value of strong teachers can be seen in the accomplishments of the students that graduate from their classes. Salesians missionaries believe that access to education and highly qualified teachers is critical to help youth improve their lives and find a path out of poverty.”
With more than 1.2 billion people, India has the second largest population in the world, the fourth largest agricultural sector and is home to a third of the world’s poor, according to UNICEF. More than 400 million Indians live on less than a dollar a day and 212 million are undernourished. According to the United Nations Development Program’s human development index, India ranks near the bottom at 136 out of 186 countries.
Close to 217 million of India’s poor are children. Although more than 53 million people escaped poverty between 2005 and 2010, most remain vulnerable to falling back below the poverty line. India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, too many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.
UNICEF – India